Columba Bush, Jeb’s Wife: 5 Fast Facts You Need to Know

Columba Bush, Jeb Bush wife

Columba Bush with her husband, Jeb in 2005 at the second inauguration of President George W. Bush. (Getty)

Columba Bush is the wife of 2016 Republican presidential candidate and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.

The 61-year-old, 5-foot tall native of Mexico has in the past been “uncomfortable with the limelight,” her husband has said, but she has taken a much more public role as Jeb enters the 2016 race. She has entered the world of social media on Twitter and Instagram, has been hosting fundraisers and joined her husband at speaking engagements, according to CNN.

“Just because she’s reticent to engage publicly doesn’t mean she’s not ready for it,” Brett Doster, a political adviser to Jeb’s first campaign for governor in 1993, told The Hill. “She’s strong as iron. If [Jeb] decides to run, she’ll be a great partner on the trail. I think that anybody who would presume she’s not ready for some of these tough tasks is severely underestimating her.”

Here’s what you need to know:


1. She Met Jeb in Her Mexican Hometown When They Were Teenagers

Columba Bush

Columba and Jeb Bush in 2012. (Getty)

Columba Garnica Gallo was 16 when she met Jeb Bush in Leon, Mexico, her hometown, where the 17-year-old Bush was teaching English as a second language, according to a Washington Post profile.

They married four years later, in February 1974, in Texas.


2. She & Her Husband Have 3 Children & 4 Grandchildren

Columba Bush, Jeb Bush Jr.

Columba Bush and her son, Jeb Jr. (Getty)

Columba and Jeb Bush have three children, George P., Jeb Jr. and Noelle. They have four grandchildren, two by George P and two by Jeb Jr.

George P. Bush, 39, was elected as the Commissioner of the Texas General Land Office, following his father into politics. He is an attorney and U.S. Navy Reserve officer. Jeb Bush Jr., 31, works for a commercial real estate firm in Miami. Noelle Bush, 37, works for a software firm in Orlando.

Both Jeb Jr. and Noelle have had run-ins with the law in the past. In 2005, Jeb Jr., then 21, was arrested in Austin, Texas, for public intoxication and resisting arrest, according to Politico.

Noelle Bush was arrested in 2002 on charges of fraudulently purchasing prescription drugs, the Washington Post reports. She then spent 10 days in jail after she was found hiding crack cocaine while in a court-ordered rehabilitation program.


3. She Has Focused Her Political Efforts on the Arts, Fighting Drug Abuse & Domestic Violence Awareness

Columba Bush

Columba and Jeb Bush in Florida in 2015. (Getty)

Columba Bush mainly stayed out of the spotlight during her time as Florida’s First Lady, but when she did use her political power to bring focus to causes, she often focused on the arts, fighting drug abuse and raising awareness about domestic violence. This May, she wrote an op-ed for the Des Moines Register, asking for support for the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence.

“I figured this would just be one of those obligatory first lady things that lasted about 15 minutes,” Tiffany Carr, the President and CEO of the Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence, told The Hill, about Columba’s meeting with her in 2000. “But we took her to a couple of shelters and she had this immediate connection with people.”


4. She Has Spent Thousands of Dollars on Her Jewelry Collection

NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 07:   Columba Bush attends the 2012 Lincoln Center Institute Gala at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on March 7, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

Columba Bush attends the 2012 Lincoln Center Institute Gala at Frederick P. Rose Hall, Jazz at Lincoln Center on March 7, 2012 in New York City. (Getty)

Documents uncovered earlier this year showed that Columba Bush has an expensive taste for jewelry. In 2000, she took out a loan to spend $42,311.70 on jewelry in a single day, the Washington Post reported. The documents also show she spent more than $90,000 at the South Florida store over a 14-year period.

“Mrs. Bush bought jewelry from time to time from Mayors Jewelers over the years. Though not required to be reported, these purchases in 2000 were included as accounts payable on Governor Bush’s financial disclosure that year, and paid off the next,” Bush spokeswoman Kristy Campbell told the Post, adding that Jeb Bush was aware of the purchases at the time.

The documents show she spent $25,000 on platinum diamond studs and $10,500 on a Bulgari gold and diamond bracelet.


5. She Was Fined in 1999 for Lying to Customs About How Much She Spent on a Paris Shopping Trip

Columba Bush

Latino artist Mlalia Mesa-Baines, right, talks about her work with Mexic-Arte Museum Director Sylvia Ocrozco, left, and then-Florida First Lady Columba Bush, in 2001. Getty

In 1999, not long after Jeb Bush became Florida’s governor, his wife was caught lying to the U.S. Customs about how much money she spent during a trip to Paris. The St. Petersburg Times reported at the time that Columba Bush failed to declare the value of her purchases twice.

According to the Times report, Bush misled the Customs agents about her $19,000 in purchases because she didn’t want her husband to know much she spent on the five-day shopping trip. She said she spent $500.

“My wife is not a public person. She is uncomfortable with the limelight, which is why I love her,” Bush said in a public statement disclosing the incident. “I don’t want a political wife — I want someone who when I get home I can have a normal life with.”

Bush was briefly detained and she paid a $4,100 fine. Her husband said she “felt horrible” about it, and “it was a difficult weekend at our house.”

“It is a lot of money. But look, that’s between her and me,” said Bush told the Sun-Sentinel in 1999. “The mistake was not filling out the form at Customs properly — that was the mistake.”

42 Comments

42 Comments

Ricky

Bush’s Life long Mistake! I don’t want to sound “Trumpish” here but I think is worth mentioning: I have relatives from Spanish descendant (of course I have proudly too) and without trying to sound a la “Trump” or racist here, Mexico is full of beautiful women! I’ve visited Northern Mexico and of course Mexico City and some southern states too (Columba is from Leon a very pretty colonial town and state) and every which way you turn you can find a nice decent (and tall) beautiful Señorita. Now if Jeb had a “weak spot” for Latin women, hell he could have found the most beautiful, smart (tall) Mexican “Rose” in the whole garden. (He was young, handsome and of wealthy family. Columba knew that for sure, she’s very smart didn’t I tell you?) I mean if he wanted a pretty (or was he looking for a short unattractive girl? which certanley is kind of strange but go figure ) as I was saying he could have found a dark haired, brown haired, excellent body, with a smart mind on her beautiful shoulders (well you get it, please ) anyway ALL in one and more! Now here we have the weirdest part: He laid eyes on not an average looking/smart girl but on a (sorry to all her family here) but on a totally unattractive and worst SHORT woman. Now one thing she was not, was: Dumb. She was (is) as smart as they come. She noticed this good and decent american young man from an excellent family and to her surprise he looked back at her! From that moment on, she didn’t let go. She hold on to him like crazy glue for four years and she didn’t cared how this marriage might affect Jeb’s life: She wasn’t to social, or like some other girls America-loving, tall enough, I feel awkward seeing them together. In one word, they were not made for each other, period. But Jeb was too young and maybe naive to think he was in a romantic novel. if only he could have visited or dated more before marrying, he might’ve return that look to Columba and he would have had the chance to choose with more experience In the end Columba ended up lonely but with diamonds and gold to stare at them trying to find some warmth in the cold but bright reflection so many diamonds throw in her eyes. Is one of those scary stories of what an obsessed mind can achieve regardless the consequences, in this case the consequences was a failed marriage and maybe even another president in the family. Sorry for the length of this comment . Thanks.

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Alton Carnegie

I’d like to see the forms that Michelle Obama has filled out after her overseas buying sprees. There’s no doubt she’s always told the truth, especially since she’s finally proud of her country.

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Anonymous

Columba is very fortunate to have met and married into such a family. Jeb was young and probably taken in by an opportunist. Males are not too bright when it comes to women. She is uneducated and no value to bring to the table as a First Lady. She appears to be the typical person that comes from very little and takes complete advantage by spending huge amounts of money on material items. Why didn’t she go to school, rather than spend money? The Bush family must have been horrified about their union. I can’t imagine that she has ever had a close relationship with Barbara Bush or accepted into such a fine family. They are polite enough to outwardly be accepting of her and her family. The Trump children are truly wonderful examples of how positive they have become as adults without drugs and alcohol. Donald Trump did a great job with his family. This is an indication of what he can do with our wonderful country to get it back on track.
I’m sorry for Jeb. He could have done better. I believe he settled and didn’t have strength to admit his mistake. This does not show strength to make major decisions for the country,

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sense and sensibility

It doesn’t matter what skin color to be a first lady…. but quality matters.
Man can love his woman to death but he can’t change the woman’s quality and can’t expect Americans either to be blind or to be dumb. She reminds me of some governors mistress. I don’t know why…..

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sc341

George H.W. Bush used to call Jeb’s kids, “the little brown ones.” The whole family is nutz.

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Massai Msrah

My concern is jebbie’s side piece will turn the White house into a safe haven for her extended family. You inviting all the rest of family from Mexico to come live in the White house for 4 years. Of course Jeb.would feign ignorance as to why all these strange people are always around.

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Massai Marah

Well maybe because Jeb is sending a message that she is good enough to bed down with, but not good enough to bring out in the public. She saw an opportunity in Jeb.Right about now The Donald is looking pretty good. By the way his children are good kids and his wife is elegant. As for jebbi’s wife it just go to show you that expensive jewelry don’t make her look classy or legitimate. Jeb need to release some money from his off shore account so she can enlist a good plastic surgeon.

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sense and sensibility

I don’t care what color of skin would be a first lady. But whenever I imagine about her being a first lady of USA, I feel like givi g up my nationality as us citizen…. Jeb bush seems confused…… between personal love and patriotic love.

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guest

They married in ’74 but the ILLEGAL did not become a legitimate citizen until 1979 and used OUR TAX DOLLARS to do it! Then the LYING bit with jewels. She is NOT a person of good character!!!

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me

She was a green card holder, you ignorant! The law says they have to have a green card for several years before applying for citizenship.

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Dynasty boy

You would have to be insane to vote for this liberal pantywaist candyass Jeb who gets teary eyed when he talks about illegal aliens.
He believes breaking the law and invading the country illegally is an act of love. Jebbie would bust the border wide open under orders
from his midget Mexican wife. He is playing the latina wife/family card in a cynical deceitful attempt to get elected while giving the finger
to the American people. By the way, his daughter and son both have criminal records and are nothing to be proud of. His daughter is
a junkie and George P. is a latino Richard Nixon. He doesn’t even show up for work anymore as Texas Land Commissioner. His eleven
o’clock shadow makes Nixon’s face look like a baby’s cheek. TRUMP 2016

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Anonymous

George P.Bush was arrested for Breaking and Entering his ex girlfriend’s home. He was stalking her. Such a quality family. Not.

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Mary Ann Noriega

Trash Trump all you want Jeb. He raised great children. Never been in trouble. No drugs, alcohol and never smoked.You and your wife must have set a bad example for them

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Alton Carnegie

I’ll be that little hottie, Columba, played the Star Spangled Banner on young Jeb’s skin flute. She laid that hot stuff on her English teacher, Jeb!!!! You think he got her cherry? I’ll bet good money she got his!!!! I wonder if they roll a big “fatty” after he’s through soaking his Chalupa in her Soft-Shelled Taco?? Oh, Columba, I’M CUMMING, I’M CUMMING!!! DON’T TELL MY DADDY!!!

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Donald

Little Jebbie went to Mexico at age 17 and married this low class chaparrita (midget) because she is the first woman to take his cherry. He couldn’t get laid in the US.
Now he is trying to leverage his Mexican family as a springboard to the Presidency. This shows that he has contempt for our national culture and wants to
manipulate the hispanic electorate for his own power. The Bush family are puppets of the international jew mafia who believe in the destruction of the original
demographics which founded the US and made it great. Can you imagine how much money this little skank will spend once she gets in the WH? All of the money
she is spending ultimately comes from the taxpayer since Jeb is a career establishment politician. TRUMP 2016

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David Hansen

One more thing about Jeb. He worked for or at least lent his name to Claudio Osorio. He allegedly had a company that would build modest priced homes for people in need. Between 2007 and 2010 Jeb was paid $468.000 plus expenses. Osorio never built anything and got a 12 year jail sentence. When he was convicted, jeb gave back $270,000. Jeb kept about $200,000 of fraud money. Jeb Bush and fraud the dots are connected. PLEASE COMMENT

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dan

This woman who is Mexican will only bring more Mexicans to our country. Univision is brainwashing viewers into voting for Bush just cause his wife is Mexican.

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Angela Dennis

We would be crazy to elect him ! I find it funny that he is playing the latina wife card ehen iy seems she was kept under wraps when Bush (both of them) held presidential offices especially when George W wasn not keen on immigration.I don’tjnow about the rest of you but I sm tired of being made to feel like Iam a stranger in my own country due to the legal and illegal influx of Latinos. I never thought the day would come when I wouldhave to know how to speak spanish to get a job or that simeone whi does would be paid more than me or that I would see food packaged in English and Spanish as well.as ads and commercials on tv in spanish. I could go on and on with the changes this country has made to accomodate these people and all I have to say if this woman becomes First Lady there will be more benefits and concrsdiobs made for Latinos. We need to put our foot down and end this NOW. Jeb Bush should not be elected not only brvause of who he is married to but look at his brothers’ track record while in office.Doeshistory really need to repeat itself????

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Anonymous

Right Angela, this country has had to make SOOOOO many changes and it makes life SOOOOO difficult for you. Are you kidding me? I swear you privileged, spoiled, over sensitive people NEED TO CALM DOWN. People like you are so quick to talk about patriotism and being all American. Do you even know what it means to be all American? Don’t you know what the foundation of America is? Freedom, opportunity, and democracy-Do any of these words resonate with you?

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laurasaysbehappy

If you make less money than a Latino is because you are under qualify or do not have the education a Latino Doctor/lawyer/professor will make more than the gas station attendant. Also a person that speak several languages has more advantages to communicate and do a better job in many positions. It’s about what you have to offer and what the other person bring it doesn’t matter the country the other individual is on but her quality as an employee

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Lydia

If she spends like that now, she will spend worse if she has the pockets of the American people’s taxes to pick,
like she has lived off her husband all her life. She brought nothing to the marriage. She will bring nothing to the
White House but more foreign subculture.

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Anonymous

That is your opinion – you don’t know what she would do if he is elected. And why on earth does it matter what she “brought to the marriage” ? Shame on you.

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guest

They married in ’74 but the ILLEGAL did not become a legitimate citizen until 1979 and used OUR TAX DOLLARS to do it! Then the LYING bit with jewels. She is NOT a person of good character!!!

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me

Clearly you don’t know how that works. You can’t become a citizen right away…clearly she was a green card holder for the first 5 years, as the law stablishes you have to be before applying for citizenship

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guest

AMEN!! They married in ’74 but the ILLEGAL did not become a legitimate citizen until 1979 and used OUR TAX DOLLARS to do it!

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Barb

Who cares how much she spends on jewelry or vacations? It is their money, contrary to the vast sums the Obamas spend, of OUR money!

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Arlene Giraud

So Jeb Bush has problems with crack and lying to customs not to pay fees with his wife . And daughter being jailed ? Not outstanding characters the Bush’s are equal with the Clintons ! Not to be trusted with our lives ! Trump is so much better higher Character !

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Trish

Well Tom Cleary – you are a racist for going after Mrs. Bush. The race card works in both parties!

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